Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and A Goodbye to Mexico City

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After the debacle that was Teotihuacan, we made it to our last stop of the day: Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Old Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

When we arrived, Pope John Paul II greeted us. 

Once past JP2, we saw the old Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The building on the right with the red roof is the Capuchin Nuns’ Temple.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City

Inside, it was modestly decorated. 

Shrine at Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Inside Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City

While we were there, a steady flow of people showed up to pray. For many millions of people, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a pilgrimage site as it’s the home of the original cloak of Juan Diego. Since I was shooting with a DSLR, I didn’t take too many pictures. The loud clicking of my shutter reverberated throughout the quiet cathedral. 

But there were no services happening, per say. Because this area used to be a lakebed, the Basilica had to be rebuilt in the 1970s. This cathedral remains as a historical monument, but the new one is where the services are held.

The New Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

You don’t have to go far to find the new Basilica. It’s connected to the old one via Marian Square of the Americas. 

Entrance to the Marian Square of the Americas

On one end of the square is this large, rather abstract installation.

Entrance to the Marian Square of the Americas

And on the other is the modest new Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City

It was built in a round shape so that you could see the image of the Virgin from any spot on the floor. At the time we visited, there was a wedding happening so no interior photos, unfortunately. 

According to our phones, we walked 15 miles that day, so we decided getting dinner was about all we had left in us. So ended our last full day in Mexico City. 

Goodbye, Mexico City

Our plan for our last morning was to go see the Frida Kahlo Museum which was about 45 minutes away by train in the opposite direction of the airport. However, that day was also the Mexico City Gay Pride Parade. Everyone from Google to our AirBnB hosts told us to not plan on going very far very fast. Adding 90 minutes of travel time in these conditions seemed like a bad idea, so the Frida Kahlo Museum simply wasn’t not going to happen.

Instead, we decided to hang around to see the Pride Parade that started sometime in the early afternoon. We walked through downtown and watched as crowds of people poured in for what I’d read would be one of the most flamboyant Pride Parades anywhere. Vendors were out in full bloom selling everything from books to t-shirts. 

Mexico City Booksellers Bizarre

And Burger King was giving out free Rainbow Crowns that we both just had to wear. 

But for all the positive vibes, there was a sense of lurking danger. On every corner were police wearing riot gear. They feared the worst. 

Mexico City Police

Mexico City Police

The parade started near Angel de la Independencia about two miles away. We waited until 1 pm, but it didn’t reach us before we had to grab our bags and make for the airport. 

On that rather anticlimactic note, our Mexico City trip was over.

Next post will be a post-mortem of this trip with recommendations and what I’d do differently.

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